The German Shepherd is a natural born trotter. Their angulated rear ends enable these canines to take longer strides. Thus, giving them a backside lower than that of their shoulders. One of the reason why German Shepards sit low on their hind legs is that they have a longer bone structure. Giving them an ability to shift positions while running.
Diagonal sequence of leg movements
His way of walking is a diagonal sequence of leg movements, ie he catches the front left leg with the back right and vice versa. For this reason, his legs should be positioned in such a way, that they should be at such an angle that the dog extends his hind legs to the middle of his body and that with the front legs it occupies the same space in front, without significantly changing the back line. . When the height-to-length ratio is correct and the bone length is appropriate, the dog has a long and low stride that gives the impression that the dog is moving forward without any strain.
German shepherd body structure – the angle of the hind legs and the back line
Thus, the movement of a German Shepherd, as a lowland trotter dog, depends primarily on the body structure itself and the extremity angles. A dog with good angles has no visible upper body oscillation when moving into the trot.
What is the biggest and most striking difference in German shepherd body structure between working and show dogs is the angle of the hind legs and the back line, which consequently changes. In the exhibit dogs, the back corners are much more closed, thus automatically yielding a falling back line, which can be clearly seen when the dog is in posture. In working dogs (and not just in sheepdogs) the angles of the hind legs are more open and the back is straight. Excessive openness of the angles of the hind legs reduces the strength and durability and thus the working capacity.
The closed back corners of the sheepdogs are designed to give the dog a stronger thrust on the hind legs to enable these canines to take longer strides.. German Shepherds, among other things, are also intended to be durable trotters in the long run.
Thus, this more laid-back attitude is a consequence of the tendency to cultivate a superior trotter. Theoretically, this attitude and position of the legs should give a slightly more elongated step that will lead to even better anatomy for the run.
Potential Health Issues
Though it’s the normal bone structure of German Shepard dogs, this can also be a possible sign of illness. Some of which include:
Canine Hip Dysplasia
A genetic disease that affects the hindquarters of a German Shepard. Preventing him/her from being very active. While not all dogs are not affected by this horrid illness, some lose the total use of their hind-end. Which in severe cases requires the help of a wheelchair. The common symptoms of canine hip dysplasia are:
* The inability to stand on his/her hind legs.
* An unwillingness to leap in the air for toys.
* Not wanting to climb up or down stairways.
Like their human counterparts, dogs develop arthritis as they begin to age. Causing various levels and personal impact on a body. As time progresses, german shepherds with this disease walk lower to the ground. Yet, arthritis is very treatable with assistance from a local veterinarian. This breed Shepherd is highly-susceptible to this particular disease type. Making it of the utmost importance to have him/her receive routine vet checks.
Myasthenia Gravis Disease
German Shepherds are also prone to develop Myasthenia Gravis Disease. A common nerve disorder which affects various parts of the body. Shepherds tend to feel it in their hindquarters, especially so with those who’ve weak hips. Leaving him/her drained of energy and in a weakened state. Tiring out easier than other dogs. Though not life-threatening, if systems worsen make an appointment with the veterinarian.
It is natural for German Shepherds to have sloping backsides and should be of little to no concern. But, if they start showing signs of the above illnesses, consult with a vet ASAP!